keeping track of my adventures in guiding!

Trying to build confidence for a shy little one

One of our newer girls is almost painfully shy. She barely speaks above a whisper, when arriving late (which is pretty regular as mum is a bit scatty) is scared to enter the hall in case anyone notices her too much, and she doesn’t seem to know how to break into a game already happening.

For example, following our penny hike this week (which was done in patrols), the various groups got back to the hall at different times. ShyGirl’s patrol was the last to arrive, so a game of secret circle (a pattern-matching game) was already in full swing.

The other girls in her patrol just pushed into the circle, with no worry about breaking in – they know that joining in a game like that mid-way through is no big deal… but ShyGirl stood back, very uncertain, and looking quite stressed by the situation. I suspect its not helping that she’s a homeschooled kid, so not as familiar as the others with dealing with crowds on a regular basis.

She does get properly involved in things when they’re fully explained, and particularly seems to enjoy crafts and quieter activities. But we can’t build a program wholly around quiet activities – our majority boisterous girls would be highly unimpressed!

So I’m not quite sure how to handle the situation. She does seem to have bonded with one of the younger girls in her patrol, and there are at least two quieter, fairly sensible kids in her patrol for her to bond with. She’s certainly not with our super noisy girls!

I’m thinking we might try:
* having a word with mum about trying to get her to Guides on time – no need for her to start the night distressed

* try and make sure we have at least some time each night with quieter activities, particularly at the start (which has the sideline benefit of calming them all down!!)

* perhaps try and do a couple of activities in pairs/threes, and ensure she’s with the younger girl she’s made friends with, and perhaps one of the quieter ones in her patrol – try and build her a little supportive team

* have a word to her PL and an ex-PL in her patrol who are lovely girls, and ask them to try and keep an eye out for her, and make sure they’re really warm and welcoming.

Well, fingers crossed. She’s only been with us a term and a bit, so perhaps we just need to look at this as a long-term project!

Any readers have any hot tips on building the confidence of a shy little one?


Leave a comment »